Hospital marketing: why word-of-mouth works

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You’re a hospital marketer faced with two, mutually exclusive, choices. You can either:

1. Focus your energies on creating a loyal following of passionate customers who support your hospital and evangelize everyone who will listen; or

2. Run a mass media advertising campaign to acquire a new customer (which just happens to be five times more expensive than keeping a current customer happy).

Okay, so maybe I stacked the deck with these two questions. But every day, we’re bombarded with one-way messages. How many really stick? Even for a brief moment? How many compel you to talk about them, and share your views about them, with others? Certainly there are exceptions, but you have to admit that they’re few and far between.

At Trajectory, we know first-hand the power of a sustained word-of-mouth program to align employees, patients and communities around shared goals. If it’s a program that genuinely bridges what your healthcare brand stands for and what your most engaged customers are passionate about, it can create advocates who passionately recommend your brand to friends, neighbors and colleagues – at a far greater rate than a momentary advertising campaign.

A word-of-mouth program creates advocates for your healthcare organization who:

• share unsolicited praise or suggestions for improvement
• forgive the occasional blip in customer service
• feel part of something bigger than themselves
• efficiently help to grow share, loyalty and profitability

When all the pieces are in place, word-of-mouth works. Wonderfully. Because it’s tenets are baked in to all of us. We all want to share and we all want to be part of a larger community. And ultimately, “we” make up marketing’s most powerful media – recommendation media.